ROBERT DE NIRO’S RANT, JOBS AND AI by Wallace Klinck

Robert De Niro seems to have become somewhat emotionally and intellectually unhinged.  Rather than expressing blind outrage and issuing unflattering epithets he might offer some rational analyses and criticisms.  His intemperate outburst has not left me in any way better informed.  I have not viewed his film “The Comedian” which might provide evidence deserving a more specific response.

The essential problem is that both the Right and Left (and the Centre) make the fatal mistake of thinking that wealth derives only from human effort and/or that sharing in the benefits arising from economic activity can be justified only or essentially by one’s direct contribution to wealth creation via work or labour.  This is the most irrational and ridiculous assumption that one might imagine—and actually stems from Puritanism and Pharisaism, being the core assumption of Marxism.  It is based firmly on the Judaic concept of 'Salvation through Works' and is diametrically opposed to the Christian concept of 'Salvation through Grace'.  The fact is that in today’s technology-based economy wealth is produced primarily not by human effort but by non-human energy and entirely different factors of production, including increasingly and primarily our age-old accumulating Cultural Heritage of know-how and technique.  Indeed, it has been widely predicted that within about twenty years nearly fifty per cent of all “jobs” in America will be eliminated by automation and artificial intelligence.   Any normal mind would consider this as a magnificent achievement and an event for great jubilation for which we should be eternally grateful to a loving and beneficent God and an abundant nature.  But no, we lament “No Jobs—no income! We are doomed!  We have too much!”  How bottomlessly and utterly stupid can humans be?!!!

The solution is to distribute this largesse to the community of individuals as a blessed Inheritance and a Gift from God and Nature.  Due to our fraudulent system of Banking (credit-issue) interacting with conventional industrial cost accountancy our economy generates a flow of costs and prices which greatly and increasingly exceeds the flow of effective consumer incomes paid out and required to liquidate these costs.  We run to the banks which “accommodate" us with vast and mushrooming inflationary loans as consumer debt mortgaging our futures toward an ever-receding horizon. This is blatant, but apparently not obvious, legalized counterfeiting.  The credit the banks create belongs not to them but to the community which created the wealth which the banks monetize and wrongly claim as their own.  This credit belongs to the community and should be paid to the community without debt, in the form of National Dividends for all citizens and payments to retailers to effect Compensated (lowered) Retail Prices. 

The policy of “full-employment” is an insanity which values work as an end in itself rather than rationally as a means to an end.  It results in a massive sabotage of efficiency as employment becomes increasingly a means of distributing incomes rather than a means to create genuinely required and desired goods and services.  Are we then to requisition by taxation the remaining ten per cent. of the working population, who themselves have insufficient income to purchase available goods, to support the other ninety per cent. displaced by technology? This is ridiculous and entirely financially and politically unsustainable.

Surely it is about time that we accept God’s blessings and ensure that all people share in our magnificent Inheritance by means of a rational system of distribution rather than re-distribution through appropriation or theft.

Donald Trump’s policy of creating “jobs” for public works or infrastructure is justified only insofar as such goods and services may actually be needed or desired.  It is not justified by a need to create “jobs” for the purpose of distributing incomes. Man does not live by bread alone. If we want “full-employment” then just have another war.  Donald seems, sanely, to be opposed to this “solution” so he will be confronted with the problem of distribution in a world where human effort is made increasingly obsolete by improving technology.  He would be well-advised to apprise himself of appropriate methods to deal with this so-called “problem” which is a blessing in apparent disguise in the eyes of the blind.

LETTER TO THE MELBOURNE ANGLICAN
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